April 9th, 11:26 am.
A couple of days before my labor started I talked to both Laura and Mhairi about labor and what to expect when it started. They were both very calm and understanding of my worries as a first time mom. But all through my pregnancy they made me feel more and more confident in my decision to have a home birth. On Sunday April 8th I had my best friend over for a visit, and complained about my swollen ankles, and told her I was convinced the baby was never coming out, and I would be pregnant forever.
I remember very vividly her leaning towards my belly and saying, “come out baby! This is your aunt-on-the-side and I'm telling you to come out of there!”
Later in the evening (around supper time) I was experiencing some back pain, which I thought was just due to my big belly, but later would find out that this was the very beginning of labor. My husband and I watched some TV before bed, and finally decided to go to sleep around 11:00pm. I got into bed, and about five minutes later I could feel something warm, and uncontrollable happening. I reached under the covers and felt wetness around me.
My first feeling was embarrassment. 'Did I just pee the bed?!'
So I turned the light on, and found my P.J bottoms were totally wet. I woke my husband Wagner up not sure what to say other than, “Wagner, I think my water broke… or I peed, but I think it was my water”.
He woke up pretty fast after I said that. He smiled when we both convinced ourselves that labor was really happening now. He got the bedroom ready, and I went to the bathroom where I had my first contraction. It wasn't super painful, but I knew what it was. It wasn't “just” a backache like I had earlier that day.
Soon after that, we called Mhairi and she said to try getting on all fours to help with the back labor. She asked if we wanted her to come over and we said we would wait till things got more intense. My contractions were happening every 2-10 minutes at first lasting anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute. Eventually they continued at a rate of lasting 1-2 minutes, 2-3 minutes apart. A couple hours later we called Mhairi again and asked her to come by. The contractions were becoming more intense.
She came by and very softly asked how I was doing, and with a big smile said, “good, very good, that's it” after I would have a contraction. She said I was a couple centimeters dilated. Then she asked if I wanted her to stay, or leave and come back. We told her she could go, and we would call her again when things progressed more. Around 5:00am Wagner woke up the rest of the family. My mom asked if I needed anything and got me water, grapes and crackers to eat, and rubbed my back. At one point I got into the bath and labored in there for a while. Then I moved back to my bedroom. My mother in law, made a chicken stew and the rest of the family waited in the living room.
Later in the morning we called Mhairi to come back again and at this point I couldn't say hello, and was so tired I just layed in bed on my side. At this point I was having contractions back-to-back, and after two in row, they were only a minute apart. Wagner stayed right by side and I kept saying, “keep rubbing!!” (My back). When the contractions were super strong I remembered the books I had read, and what my midwives had told me and that was to say something positive. So I chanted to myself “I can do it, I can do it!”
Wagner cheered me on, “yes, you can do it! I know you can do it!” After each contraction I could hear Mhairi saying, “yes, that's it, good!”
Eventually I blurted out, that it felt like I needed to poop. And I thought for sure I was going to, but really, it was just the baby ready to come out. Mhairi got the birth stool and placed it at the foot of the bed. I sat on the stool, and Wagner sat behind me with his arms under mine to support me. My body started to push the baby out, and it was hard not to push. Mhairi gently guided me through it, and within a short amount of time our baby had arrived on April 9th at 11:26am! I couldn't believe this tiny little person had just come out of my body! At first I just looked at this tiny little thing and thought, 'I don't even know if it's a girl or boy!' So I looked under the blanket and announced, “It's a girl!”
Then Mhairi and the student Midwife Emily helped me and my little baby girl to the bed. She layed on my chest sucking her thumb and Wagner and I looked at her in awe. Our little Baby-Boo was really here. Our little Alice. After the umbilical cord had stopped pulsing, Emily cut the cord and assisted me with the birth of the placenta. I had made it clear I didn't want to cut the cord right away, and they supported my wishes. They stayed about two or three hours after the birth and came to check on Alice and I periodically.
Everyone was so happy, and the house was just filled with love! Not just the love from my husband and family, but also the midwives. They supported me 100% and always with a loving smile. You could tell this was the moment they lived for, this moment they helped make possible- this moment between mother and baby (mother, father, and baby) that is so special, and they get to be a part of it.
In the next room I could hear my dad and Mhairi talking and I will never forget this. He said, “you guys really do have the coolest job in the world!”
Baby Alice born to Hali and Wagner at home.